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Gamatui NAtural Process - Kapchorwa, Uganda

Quick Facts

Producer: Gamatui Community - processed by the Sipi Falls Washing Station. *Gamatui pronounced like: Gama- too - EE- (sounds like ratatouille)

Country: Uganda

Region: Kapchorwa - Mt. Elgon

Elevation: 1,800-2,000 MASL

Varieties: SL-34, SL-14, Bourbon

Harvest: October - February

Process: Natural

Overview

Natural processed coffee in Uganda is often considered some of the lowest grade coffee roasters can purchase. This grade of coffee, called DRUGAR (Dried Ugandan Arabica), is often strip picked- (mostly under-ripe) and dried on tarps on the ground. In 2015, our sister company in Uganda set out to change what DRUGAR could be. They started with better picking and sorting practices. This was only the start and had to be combined with an immense investment into an infrastructure for meticulous drying and storage. With these two measures the natural processed lots coming from Kawacom, in partnership with the communities around them, are redefining not just what natural processed coffees from Uganda are, but re-defining the coffee from Uganda as a whole.

History

Gamatui is a community located in eastern Uganda on the slopes on Mount Elgon. This area is famous for the many beautiful Sipi waterfalls, which a few are located close to the Gamatui community. This area is also one of the highest elevation coffee producing areas in the country, and the producers here are recognized as some of the most quality dedicated as well. This is processed by Atlantic Specialty's sister company, Kawacom, at their Sipi Falls washing station that is located just a few kilometers from Gamatui.

Kawacom started in Uganda in 1999, buying parchment and selling mostly Bugisu semi-washed (farmer processed coffee). In 2012, Kawacom completed the build-out of the Sipi Falls washing station on Mount Elgon, alowing them much more control of their quality. Recently, Kawacom has expanded in the region of Kasese in the west of Uganda on the Rwenzori Mountains with their Maliba project. Kawacom also expanded in the Northwest of Uganda with their White Nile project which started in 2017 as washed coffee, but in 2018 offered both washed and natural.

Kawacom started focusing on community specific microlot selections in 2015, and have since taken 1st place in the AFCA Taste of Harvest in Uganda for their natural, washed, and honey processed coffees on multiple occasions. To produce their top lots, the Sipi Falls washing station selects specific days when they know they can talk and work with the community to get better cherry selection.

Tasting Notes

Concord Grape, Strawberry Jam, Blackberry

This natural process from Gamatui is a grape-berry fruit bomb. The big fruit notes are complimented by a syrupy body, and lingering fruited aftertaste. With fruit notes this big, this roast can lean to the wild side, but the profile stays clean and continent, showcasing how well it was processed.

Processing Notes

Natural

On specific days when the cherry selection is optimal the Sipi Falls site will choose to process coffee from specific communities separately. The ripe cherry is brought immediately to raised beds where it is laid out in single layers and further sorted for ripeness. The coffee is constantly turned throughout the day to ensure even drying, and drying will take approximately 3 weeks depending on the weather. The cherry is dried down to approx 10.5% moisture content and then stored in grainpro to protect it. From this point the coffee will be milled and prepared for export.

New 2019

From 2015-2018 Kawacom had built 192 raised beds for their microlots. In 2019 they expanded to 392 to make sure they could continue making the best processed small lots possible.

2018/19 was also the first year that Atlantic Specialty Coffee focused on sourcing coffee from the area of Gamatui.

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